Close View of Celebratory Sparklers

Valarie Ivester of Greater Texas Credit Union Earns Elite Credentials from Southwest CUNA Management School

Austin, Texas, August 17, 2023Greater Texas|Aggieland Credit Union’s AVP of Indirect Strategy & Development, Valarie Ivester, was a distinguished graduate of the Southwest CUNA Management School’s (SCMS) 50th commencement class. Besides being an honor graduate, Ivester received the highest honors in the class – the Award of Excellence, which is equivalent to the class Valedictorian.

Person Posing for Professional Image

SCMS is an intensive three-year leadership course comparable to a master’s level program designed to develop C-suite credit union leaders. SCMS is one of four schools in the nation with a proven record of producing top-tier talent for executive-level credit union roles. The school is conducted in partnership with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), Cornerstone League, Cornerstone Foundation, and Texas Christian University (TCU).

Ivester was one of 48 individuals to earn the distinguished Certified Credit Union Executive (CCUE) designation and one of seven to graduate with honors. To be selected as an honor graduate, she had to complete three comprehensive core assignments with a focus on strategic outcomes for her credit union, illustrate the potential impact of those strategic decisions across operations, and display proficiency in financial management.

Ivester also served as class treasurer and was the fundraising chair. The Class of 2023 raised $7,350 for the Cornerstone Foundation’s SCMS Scholarship Fund, “paying it forward” to benefit other students in need of assistance to attend the school.

“This program has been invaluable to helping me improve my knowledge of Greater Texas as a whole, not just my area of responsibility,” said Ivester. “The level of instruction and projects forced me to go beyond my comfort zone and tested my skills and ability to expand my understanding of all facets of credit union operations. That has helped me to expand my strategic capabilities.”

Ivester added, “I am grateful that Greater Texas invested in me by sending me through this program. It is something every credit union should do to strengthen and broaden their employees’ knowledge base, which will benefit both the employee and credit union.”                     

Graduation from SCMS is recognized throughout the credit union industry as an honor and mark of accomplishment. The school provides hands-on comprehensive management training designed to develop top tier executive leaders.

The SMCS 50th class commencement was held at TCU in Fort Worth. TCU, along with other school partners, provides instructors and other resources for the program.


About Greater Texas Credit Union

Greater Texas Credit Union, founded in 1952, is a financial cooperative that emphasizes community stewardship, charitable giving, and employee volunteerism through its Greater Good initiative. Together with its subsidiary, Aggieland Credit Union – which serves the Brazos Valley – the credit union offers a wide variety of consumer-oriented banking services to its 80,000 members across the state of Texas. Greater Texas has locations in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Bryan-College Station, Edinburg, and the Dallas-Ft. Worth market with assets of nearly $1 billion.